Six consecutive hurricane free years - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Six consecutive hurricane free years

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WFLX) In 2004 and 2005, eight hurricanes ripped through Florida causing more than 55 billion dollars in damage.

Stephanie Wilson was in her late teens and living in Tallahassee when the chaos began. "A lot of like trees and debris were on some of the back roads.  Not the main roads."

Tallahassee was spared and so was Stephanie's family and home. But now, six years later, she's paying for the damage. "I don't think it's fair."

Because Citizens Property Insurance didn't have enough money to cover its losses, the state ordered emergency assessments on all policyholders.  Stephanie pays about 10 bucks a year in assessments on her car policy.  

"The average assessment on a policy for a 150-thousand dollar house runs between 20 and 30 dollars a year.  The payments are due through 2017, but they could get higher if another storm hits.

A category four or five hurricane in a large city could raise assessments to 450 dollars a year. To avoid that scenario insurance experts say drastic changes to Citizens have to be made.

"We have to get our policymakers to make the hard choices and change the laws, otherwise it's just a ticking time bomb and it's going to blow up eventually," said Bob Lotane with the Florida Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

Plans to shed 75-hundred of Citizens most expensive policies are in the works, but it may not be enough to significantly lower the risk to all Florida policyholders.

The governor and state cabinet will hear the plans to drop the most expensive Citizens policies at next Tuesday's cabinet meeting.  Citizens denied a request for an interview to discuss the proposed changes.

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